Mindoro Resources Ltd. today announced that Agata Mining Ventures Inc. ("AMVI"), has commenced definition drilling aimed at defining an initial National Instrument 43-101 compliant resource estimate at the Agata limestone project, located in northern Mindanao, the Philippines. Once an initial resource has been developed and product markets are identified and confirmed, AMVI will evaluate the feasibility of commencing a limestone direct shipping ore ("DSO") operation using the same infrastructure developed for current nickel laterite DSO operations.
AMVI is a joint venture company in which Mindoro holds a 40% interest and TVI Resource Development (Phils.), Inc. holds a 60% interest and is the project operator.
As shown in the illustration below, the Agata limestone project is strategically situated to the south of Mindoro's current Agata nickel laterite direct shipping ore ("DSO") operation and immediately adjacent to the causeway facilities that were built to support the nickel laterite DSO operations. The project consists of a number of separate deposits, of which only one - the Payong Payong deposit covering approximately 27.7 hectares - has been drilled to date. Other deposits occur nearby and will be explored in stages in the future.
To view the illustration, please visit the following link: http://media3.marketwire.com/docs/mio.jpg.
Mindoro drilled five holes into the Payong Payong limestone deposit in 2011 and outlined a large area of approximately 400 by 800 metres. Drilling yielded intercepts with a weighted average of 60 metres of 98.86% CaCO3 (calcium carbonate), indicating the presence of high-purity, massive, recrystallized limestone. A full table of the 2011 drill results is included with this release on Mindoro's website.
High-purity limestone is particularly in high demand as a paper whitener for the paper making industry, as calcined and hydrated lime for a variety of industrial purposes and, as filler for toothpaste, with selling prices ranging from $100 to over $450 per tonne. AMVI is currently in preliminary marketing discussions with potential buyers who have expressed interest in high-purity limestone products to determine potential demand. A formal marketing study is also planned in the near future to better determine additional markets.
AMVI also anticipates using the limestone in the production of lime for the planned Agata nickel processing plant (see news from November 24, 2014), which will reduce lime acquisition costs and significantly lower operating costs for the nickel processing project.
Once an initial resource has been developed and product markets are identified and confirmed, AMVI will evaluate the feasibility of commencing a limestone direct shipping ore ("DSO") operation using the same infrastructure developed for current nickel laterite DSO operations. Due to the project's close proximity to the causeway where materials will be shipped, potential operations will likely benefit from having low transport and handling costs
EXPLORATION WORK PROGRAM
AMVI commenced exploration activities on the limestone project in early November 2014, including a detailed review and verification of previous work carried out by Mindoro as well as more detailed surface mapping and sampling of the area. Core drilling has commenced in an initial program of 10 holes spaced at 200 meters at the Payong Payong deposit. Further infill drilling at 100 meter intervals may be required after the results of the initial program are analyzed.
AMVI intends to produce an NI43-101-compliant resource report on the Agata limestone project after the completion of the exploration program in mid-2015.
ABOUT THE AGATA LIMESTONE PROJECT
The Agata project is held by AMVI, a joint venture company in which Mindoro holds a 40% interest and TVI Resource Development (Phils.), Inc. holds a 60% interest and is the operator. As announced in a press release dated November 20, 2014, AMVI has received an offer of a US$8 million term loan facility from China Banking Corporation. AMVI intends to use the China Bank term loan facility, which remains subject to board approval, to ramp up operations at the Agata DSO project, to fund the current exploration programs and resource updates at the Agata nickel laterite and limestone projects, and for general working purposes.
QUALIFIED PERSON AND QUALITY ASSURANCE/QUALITY CONTROL
Dallas Cox, B.Eng (Mining), MAusIMM(CP), Principal Consultant of Crystal Sun Consulting Limited has worked as a mining engineer for 28 years, including 10 years as an independent mineral industry consultant. Mr. Cox graduated with a degree in Mining Engineering at the University of New South Wales, Kensington in 1986. He is a member of The Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy, a Chartered Professional (CP), and a qualified person under the guidelines of National Instrument 43-101. Mr. Cox has approved the scientific and technical information in this news release.
Mindoro is a Tier 1 Issuer trading on the TSX Venture Exchange (MIO) and Frankfurt Stock Exchange (WKN 906167). Mindoro has a 40% interest in the Agata Mining Joint Venture and a 30% interest, plus an option to acquire an additional 25%, in the Agata Processing Joint Venture. Mindoro also holds 75% interest in the Pan de Azucar Sulphur-Copper-Gold Project, Iloilo. TVI Resource Development (Phils.), Inc. ("TVIRD") has the option to earn up to a 60% interest in the Agata Processing and Pan de Azucar projects by meeting the earn-in requirements outlined in the June 24, 2013, press release, which include producing a definitive feasibility study for a nickel processing facility. Mindoro also holds 75% interest and an option to acquire an additional 25% in the Tapian San Francisco Copper-Gold Project, Mindanao.